Trauma, Mental Health, and Our Front Line Responders – May 6, 2021

Why Our Approach has Been Wrong All Along and Why We Have to Change

In Collaboration with Odd Squad Productions and the Safer Schools Together

Thursday, May 6, 2021
Login: 8:30 am Pacific Time (Vancouver, BC)
Session: 9:00 am–11:00 am Pacific Time (Vancouver, BC)
90-minute session, with a 30-minute Q&A to follow

Click here to register on SST website

According to Bob Rich, former Chief of Police for the Abbotsford Police Department, “The average person encounters around 4 events in their lifetime that could cause them a traumatic injury. During their career a police officer will encounter around 100-400 events that may cause trauma and lead to PTSD.”

Chief Rich is no stranger to the impact trauma can have on a police force. In 2015, Abbotsford PD lost two members to suicide. In 2017, his detachment lost Const. John Davidson when he was killed in the line of duty. It was at Davidson’s memorial that Chief Rich instructed his members to “take a knee” and urged them to take their mental health just as seriously as they take their physical health. “If you’re struggling, get help. Talk to a counsellor, ask your family for help, take sick days, do whatever it takes to get well.”

Chief Rich says that far too often, police officers ignore operational stress injuries. He says that the “suck it up attitude” in policing needs to end. In this session, Chief Rich will share why he has become an advocate for police mental health. Using data and research, Chief Rich will answer the question that many members often ask themselves in the aftermath of traumatic events, “Can we do this job and still be ok?”

This session will include:

  • Stats on mental health for police officers and first responders
  • Is PTSD inevitable for police officers?
  • The stress wheel – What is pushing in on us?
  • “Organizational stress” – A euphemism for how we are hurting our own people
  • Prevention Strategies: Rather than try to fix the people who get seriously hurt, how about if we stop it from happening?
  • How we can minimize the potential for trauma for members who are going to hard calls
  • Brain Science: What happens with trauma and how does it become PTSD?
  • How we can interrupt the process of trauma leading to PTSD?
  • Building healthy organizations
  • Fostering true resiliency
  • The way forward
Click here to register on SST website